Benefitting from its diversified business strategy, Port of Kaohsiung handily brushed off anxieties related to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine, port congestion in Europe and North America, and shipping schedule delays to earn NT$8.021 billion in revenues in 2022, marking a 6.83% increase over the previous year (2021).
Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) Chairman Hsien-yi Lee notes supply chain issues, softening demand, and other problems throughout 2022 cut into Port of Kaohsiung's total handled container volume, which is currently estimated to have come in at just below 9.5 million TEU for the year. This number represents a 350,000~400,000 TEU (3.7~4.2%) decline from 2021. However, the port's diverse business strategy and diligent efforts during 2022 brought significant new advantages and accomplishments for the year. Several of the most noteworthy are detailed below:
1. Continued reconfiguration of the port's container wharves to raise operational efficiency and increase available container yard capacity. An agreement was signed in January 2022 with Wan Hai Lines to take over and operate Wharf Nos. 79-81 in the 5th Container Terminal following Evergreen Marine's relocation to the port's new 7th Container Terminal.
2. With regard to facilitating the achievement of national offshore wind power policy goals, Port of Kaohsiung redesignated 34ha of port land previously designated for warehousing and logistics for use in offshore wind farm development activities. The land was leased in March 2022 to Walsin Lihwa and Ming Rong Yuan New Energy who will respectively use their leased properties to support submarine cable and submarine foundation assembly businesses.
3. To improve the quality of vessel refueling services, the port at the end of 2022 finalized public bids on roughly 10ha of land covering Wharf S17, yard facilities behind S16 and S17, and oil barge wharves. These bids have attracted investment in new fuel storage tanks and support facilities that, after completion, will expand opportunities for vessel refueling and fuel storage and transfer businesses at Port of Kaohsiung.
4. As part of continuing efforts to improve the port environment for coastal tourism, Port of Kaohsiung in early 2022 finalized bidding on 0.6ha of land including Warehouses 7~10 and surrounding land. Bids attracted 25 firms and 70 brands to sign contracts that will bring food & beverage, sports & leisure, and tourism-oriented businesses to the site. During the 2022 Taiwan Design Expo alone, the port's Penglai District registered over 6 million visitors. Furthermore, Argo Yacht Club opened Zone A of the Love River Bay Pleasure Yacht Marina, offering 87 berths for pleasure craft and creating a platform for further, vibrant growth in Kaohsiung's pleasure craft sector.
5. Major developments at Port of Kaohsiung auxiliary ports in 2022:
(1) Anping Port: Beyond the continued, steady growth in business at the port's Free Trade Zone (FTZ), Anping joined TIPC's offshore wind power support team with the addition of two new wind energy firm operations at the port. Further wind energy businesses will be encouraged to set up in Anping Port in the coming year. Also, coastal land continues to be developed and partitioned for public bids to increase Anping Port tourism and recreation opportunities.
(2) Budai Port: The port's new Visitor Service Center, completed in March, has already registered 380,000 visits. Further facility improvements and public commercial bids are already being planned.
(3) Penghu Port: Bidding documents were finalized and the commercial operating lease was signed in 2022 for the hotel in the Magong Harbor Building. Furthermore, work has commenced to extend the port's cruise ship pier and upgrade various passenger service facilities to support plans for future island-hopping vacation cruise voyages.
In 2023, Port of Kaohsiung will continue to advance and improve, with several major projects noted below:
1. The port will assist Evergreen Marine to complete work on Wharf Nos. S5-S3B and associated yards, with commercial operations slated to begin in May. This model of cooperation between the port and a major commercial shipper marks a critical step forward in Port of Kaohsiung's continued evolution as an East Asia transshipment hub and in safeguarding the port's role as a global hub for container shipping.
2. The port will continue cooperating with national development plans for a 5G AIoT Innovation Park in the Asia New Bay Area, welcome the post-pandemic return of international cruise ship calls at the port in March 2023, and open public bidding on office and commercial space in the new Port of Kaohsiung Passenger Terminal Building.
3. Continuing the success of Phase I of the renovated Kaohsiung Port Depot, the port will in 2023 issue invitations to bid for retailers interested in setting up business in Phase II (including Warehouses 4-1A & 6, Maintenance Shed, Petrol Station, and Warehouse 4 Yard). Phase II is part of an increasingly vibrant waterside development area in the port that also includes Phase I, Great Harbor Bridge, and the Sha'er and Penglai Districts.
In addition to diligently managing its core port business responsibilities, Port of Kaohsiung will continue growing the port's FTZs and work to attract a diversity of commercial enterprises to the port in order to further expand port cargo capacity and international competitiveness and to better assist shipping firms sustain and expand long-term interests at Port of Kaohsiung. Port of Kaohsiung CEO Chin-jung Wang notes that his organization is committed to adding depth to each port's operations and to advance together with shipping firm partners into a future of sustained prosperity.